Short Run week has arrived! I’ve just returned from International Comics Night where I had the opportunity to listen to Ivana Pipal (Croatia), Ilan Manouach (Belgium/Greece), Hatem Imam (Lebanon), and Inés Estrada (Mexico) speak about their incredible work in comics. I was blown away by how visceral and present and unique each of their work is. They will all be at Short Run this Saturday. In fact, there are going to be well over 200 artists there this year from the Pacific Northwest and all around the country and world. I’m especially looking forward to seeing new work by Marnie Galloway, Paper Press Punch, and The H_A_N_D collective. But there’s so much to see!—can’t wait.
Leading up to the fest, Robyn Jordan and I stopped by the Accidents on Purpose Studios for an interview about the festival, our work, and George W. Bush’s portraiture. You can listen to it here.
I’m almost ready. My new book, Patterns, is done:
I’ve been wanting to work on this book about the various life patterns we live and repeat and attempt to break out of for awhile now. I started the cut paper work—cutting tiny patterns into vintage sewing transparencies for the background panels—this past summer. And now it’s all printed, sewn up, and ready for you. Rich Smith at The Stranger gave it a generous shout-out in his Short Run shopping list. Grateful.
And here is Forty-Two, the collaborative zine written and drawn by Kelly Froh, Emilie Bess, and me. So proud of this work and thankful for the friendships that made it happen.
Both of these books will be for sale in my online store after Short Run, but if you’re able to stop by the fest, please do!
Fall is here!—And with it Short Run season. Lots happening this upcoming month!
- I am tremendously honored and humbled to be included in an exhibit featuring NW cartoonists at the Museum of Art at Washington State University. The opening reception for the exhibit is this Thursday, October 6th. I will be holding a conversation and workshop on Graphic Medicine that afternoon.
- On October 9th, I’ll be running a families-oriented sculptural collage workshop at the Henry Art Gallery. We will be making a giant landscape together, playing off of ideas inspired by the art in the galleries. Join us!
- Satellite events for Short Run begin next week. Check out the schedule! So much good comics stuff going on leading up to the festival.
- Speaking of Short Run, the collaborative zine I’m working on with Kelly Froh and Emilie Bess to debut at the fest is nearly done and we will be putting the finishing touches on it this weekend (fingers crossed). I am also steadily making progress on “Patterns” and it should be ready for the printer by mid-October. Here is a teaser in the form of a blurry photo featuring some of the cut paper work I’m doing for it:
Next Saturday, September 17th, I’ll be giving a reading in Spokane along with Kelly Froh and Simeon Mills. The event is hosted by Spark Center and Scablands Lit and you can find out more information here.
Early October will bring me to another event in Eastern Washington, this time in Pullman. I’m honored to be included in an exhibit at the Museum of Art at Washington State University that will feature Northwest cartoonists. On display will be original pages from “Sea,” “Hitched,” and a few early comics as well. I’ll also be teaching a comics workshop as a part of the opening festivities.
Not to get ahead of ourselves, but Short Run is happening on November 5th! I’ll be debuting TWO new books there—one a collaborative zine with Kelly Froh and Emilie Bess. The other is called Patterns and has been a labor of love, using handmade paper and cut fabric pattern transparencies modeled after Japanese Katagami work. Both are still in progress but more details forthcoming!
Hope to see you at something soon.
I spent the afternoon doing a major revamp of the website. If you notice anything off, please let me know.
In other news:
- The Seattle Art Museum invited me to lead a “My Favorite Things” tour of their “Graphic Masters” exhibit last week. I had a blast sharing with the group who joined me what excites me about Rembrandt’s “Saint Jerome Beside a Pollard Willow,” Hogarth’s Harlot’s Progress series, and Plate 32 from Goya’s Los Caprichos. I also had some choice words for Picasso.
- The 7th annual Comics and Medicine conference happened this past weekend in Dundee, Scotland. From what I can tell, it was another incredible meeting. Needless to say, I was devastated not to be there and am eager to check out the conference archive as soon as it goes online.
- Chin up: I am excited to announce that, together with Meredith Li-Vollmer (King County Public Health) and Jose Alaniz (University of Washington, Disability Studies Program), I will be welcoming the 8th annual Comics and Medicine conference here to Seattle. The 2017 conference will take place June 15th-17th. Titled “Access Points,” the theme will broadly address issues related to the intersections between comics and health access/accessibility. Announcements about guest speakers etc. forthcoming.
- Exhibitor applications for Short Run Seattle close on the 15th. Get your applications in if you haven’t already!
Thanks for stopping in. Hopefully more soon. With love, me.
Lots of exciting news to share!
- In February, I started collaborating with the Henry Art Gallery to develop education programming for gallery visitors. I’ve had the chance to run two really fun workshops for kids and I’m excited for future opportunities. If you have a chance to visit the Henry, do so. Their approach to exhibitions is outstanding—super engaging and dynamic.
- Last month, I joined ten other artists for Short Run’s second annual Trailer Blaze residency. It was an incredibly enriching experience. I worked on several pages of the book and am excited about some new directions for it that I had the headspace to explore while away. Being around such talented, enthusiastic, driven women makes such a difference to my art and outlook.
- Also last month my comic “Sea” was recognized as best comic book by Cartoonists Northwest. The award ceremony recognized tons of great local talent and I felt honored to be a part of it.
- This June, I’ll be tabling at two events. The first is Olympia Comics Festival, coming up on June 4th. And the second is at Seattle Art Museum as part of their opening celebrations for the new Graphic Masters exhibition on June 9th. Thank you to Short Run Seattle—who is curating this mini comix and printmaking fest—for inviting me to be a part of these festivities!
- Even as I have been continuing work on my book, I’ve also been steadily making progress on my new project on whale conservancy. I’m proud of this piece that I did for the Seattle Weekly on contamination of the Puget Sound and its effects on the salmon and killer whale populations. I learned a lot from interviewing Jim Meador and Lynne Barre, both with NOAA Fisheries, and plan to continue the collaboration for a longer piece of comix journalism.
- And finally there is this BIG news: I’m going to Arctic in October 2017! I was accepted to join the Arctic Circle Residency, where I will continue my work on whale and ocean conservancy alongside other artists and scientists. I will be sharing more information about this residency in the coming months.
Thank you for stopping in <3
2015 was a productive, warm, and creative year. I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting back on it (along with the last five years) to get a sense of where life has been pushing me. I’m excited about what’s ahead. Here are a few moments from the past, present, and future:
- This past November, incredible cartoonist and educator Sarah Leavitt invited me to give a talk to and run a workshop with her students at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. It was so energizing to talk with these comix artists-in-the-making. We had a great time!—and it was so good to catch up with Sarah, her partner D, and their sweet Papillion Jackson. Sarah is hard at work on her next book, which is going to be incredible.
- Look! I did a strip for the Seattle Weekly! A chicken strip!! I’ll get some copies of the print version in the next couple days. I’m excited to see how the strip looks in the paper itself. An interesting cycle: Making cut paper comics out of newspaper and then printing them in a newspaper. Kelton Sears at the Weekly has been a huge support to the Seattle comics community and I’m looking forward to working with him again.
- In February, I will once again teach a workshop for the Creativity Inspiring Conservation program at the Seattle Aquarium! In addition to teaching approaches to cut paper art, this time I’ll be taking students through a paper-making activity. It should be loads of (messy!) fun. As an added bonus, my session will be focused on the Puget Sound orca populations. I am grateful to be a part of this enriching program. Headed up by Kate Burnley, it reaches out to high school-aged artists and is totally free. If you know anyone interested in any of the classes offered (the schedule should be out soon), I encourage you to have them apply.
Lots of plans are in the works for the upcoming year. Excited to see how 2016 will unfold. Stay tuned.
The last few months have been filled with some exciting events and bright spots for me. Here are some of them:
- Eroyn Franklin, Kelly Froh, and I edited and contributed to Bloody Pussy: A Feminist Rag. You can read more about the paper in this interview that MK did with us for the Graphic Medicine website. Bloody Pussy was also featured in this very positive review from the AV Club (scroll down past the glossy alien stuff). The Library of Congress even requested a copy of it for its archives! Very proud of this paper.
- I was invited to read at Lit Crawl Seattle with Eroyn, Natalie Dupille, and Gina Siciliano (Kelly hosted). The session was titled “Draw It Out: Indie Comix.” It was an energizing and dynamic event that exposed a new audience to the wide berth of comix that Seattle artists are creating. So happy to have been a part of Lit Crawl!
- In anticipation of Short Run, I was interviewed for The Stranger!! Rich Smith was a dream interviewer. The conversation felt comfortable, engaging, dynamic—and like I spilled my guts but with a tub in place to make it not so messy. He’s also a genius wordsmith and a brilliant poet in his own right. Thank you, Rich!
- Speaking of Short Run: This year’s fest was incredible. Paul Constant from The Seattle Review of Books wrote this thoughtful reflection on what made this event a stand-out for him. He really “gets” what Short Run is about and it makes his advocacy of small press and local artists and writers all the more appreciated. His piece includes a generous review of my newest books, Sea and Hitched. Paul also reviews Robyn Jordan’s new mini, “Louder.” If you get a chance to pick up a copy of Robyn’s book, do. It was a highlight of the festival for me. Thank you, Paul!
A couple weeks ago, the local comics collective The Hand had an event to debut their first zine collection. The collective has an exciting mission: “to use ink, fold paper, grasp new ideas, make fists, and old other hands.” I was honored to be invited to read some of my comics alongside the members of the collective that evening.
For the last few readings I’ve done, I’ve been reading excerpts from the book-in-progress. This time, I decided that the book is in something of a too-scattered state currently (normal, I’m guessing, given the place I am in writing it) and decided to read some largely unshared work all related to my dream life. Included in this reading were a collection of images of creatures who visit my dreams, like
I also shared an illustrated dream, which you can read here.
I’ve just gone through and updated the website—AND added an online store! Have a look-see if you’re interested in purchasing comix from me. If you see anything on the site that you’re interested in, but don’t see in the store, please get in touch with me. I’m also happy to talk to you about commissioning original pieces.
Over the next few months, I will try to post updates on the progress of the book. It’s getting close to mid-point! The hope is to have it done by the end of August. Perhaps posting that deadline here is my way of creating accountability for myself. Eager to finish.
Last month, I gave a talk on my creative work on comics and grieving to students and faculty at the University of California, Riverside. I was invited by the lovely Dr. Juliet McMullin, an Associate Professor of Medical Anthropology, whom I first met in Chicago at my first Comics and Medicine Conference. Thank you, Juliet! The talk was hosted by UCR’s Center for Ideas and Society, which is funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation. MK Czerwiec (Comic Nurse) was kind enough to create and post a podcast of the talk on the Graphic Medicine site. Thank you, MK!
The visit was inspiring to me. A number of students spoke to me after the talk about their own experiences with caregiving and mourning. These conversations stay with me and remind me that one of the main reasons I’m doing this project is for others—so they might be less alone in their grief. I am going to try to make a major push in my work over the next several months. Check back for more updates.